Guidelines for parliamentary research services

The Guidelines in this report are intended to help develop the capacity of parliamentary research services. Although parliamentary research services are unique to the culture and traditions of the context from which they emerge, there are three main phases for developing a service:

·         Phase 1: Define the mandate

·         Phase 2: Define how the service will operate

·         Phase 3: Build useful partnerships

As well as outlining guidance within these three specific phases, the report advises how a parliamentary research service can report that the needs of the parliamentarians are being met. By doing so, the parliamentary research service is better positioned to demonstrate its relevance and therefore compete for limited budgets. Examples include:

·         annual reports / reports of feedback received

·         presentations to parliamentary committees

·         informal meetings with leaders of parliamentary caucuses

The report concludes with suggests on how parliamentary research services can build credibility and trust with their parliamentary clients, such as:

·         having human interactions through telephone or face-to-face conversations to complement the electronic interactions

·         securing reviews of research products to ensure objectivity

·         arranging professional development for parliamentary research service staff  

To read more, please follow this link to download the full report.

If you use the information detailed in the report, please cite as follows:

Inter Parliamentary Union and International Federation of Library Associations (2015) Guidelines for parliamentary research services. Geneva: IPU

IPU: Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) is a network of national parliaments from around the world that aims to protect and build global democracy through political dialogue and concrete action. To find out more about the work of IPU, please follow this link.

IFLA: International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) is an international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. To find out more about the work of IFLA, please follow this link.

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